Who draws the lines and marks the “norm” when it comes to this question?

If I were to direct this question to a biokinetist, they would probably use a standard measure such as the Body Mass Index (BMI) chart to give me a politically correct answer as to Who Is Fat?  A doctor would probably say it is someone who is at risk of acquiring a lifestyle disease such as Diabetes Mellitus ii.  Yet, on any given day a random citizen down the street would most likely say it’s someone who is bigger than other people, so it would be a matter of relation.  So then my question still stands, if I weigh 60kg and my friend 59 kg and another 58, 9 kg then who is fat?  See, this is how distorted our thinking has become, we say one is fat relatively to another.  Since when do we need external factors to determine how we look at ourselves? I will tell you since when, it is ever since you set foot onto this world.  Society informs our thoughts so much!  

At the tender age of 6 years I was already made aware of the societal conceptions when it comes to one’s weight and appearance.  See I was a pretty chubby toddler, the biggest of my siblings.  I remember the incident like it was yesterday.  It was the first week of school and the athletics season was underway.  Being my confident self when it came to sprinting, I didn’t hesitate when our teacher called us to the starting line.  There were giggles from the not so brave classmates while the bigger bullies began to make comments about how “fatty over here” looked so confident about this race.  I decided to let the results speak for me, ended up waiting at the finish line with my hands on my hips waiting for the others to finish the 60m sprint.  What followed was a season of gold medal after gold medal but nevertheless, the mean comments and weird stares never ended; one very competitive mother from a neighbouring school even placed her child next to me because if someone was going to be last in this race it was definitely going to be chubby cheeks (me).  I used to get so much satisfaction every time I touched that finish line first or even second.  Without even noticing it I had let the world around me determine how I look at my own body.  “Yes I am fat but I still out run each and every one of them” I’d think to myself.  Imagine, a 6 year old already having to find a coping mechanism against a non-forgiving, cruel world of name calling and labelling.

One could go to a personal trainer today and be told that according to your height vs. weight you are obese however still walk out of there thinking “well, at least I’m not fatter than Mandy”.  That is some of the excuses we use not to focus on ourselves and our bodies.  I always tell my patients, your wellness is a very personal thing, you have to live with yourself each and every day.  In the evening when you go to sleep, there is only you in that body.  The question “Who is Fat?” can only be answered by you about Only You!  I personally get very annoyed when I say “I feel fat” or “I’m going to the gym” and somebody replies by: “Why, you don’t need gym or what fat?”  I do and say about my body according to my standards, not the standard that is set by society!

If I say I am fat, then according to Tshego then yes I am fat and yes I will do something about it.  Ask any trainer and they will tell you, never can you convince anyone to do anything about their body/weight status until they personally decide that they need to.  So, here is my question.  Are You Fat?